Cup bid on the edge of disaster
TOWNSVILLE’S John- Patrick Smith has continued a dream month of tennis by qualifying for his first ATP semi- final at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport.
Smith, ranked 156th in the world, had never won an ATP tour event match heading into the championships in Rhode Island but picked up his third straight win with a victory over Japan’s Tatsuma Ito 6- 3, 6- 7 ( 2), 6- 3 in the quarter- final.
The Townsville product has already knocked out third seed Bernard Tomic and American Jared Donaldson on his way to the quarter- final and will meet former Hall of Fame winner Rajeev Ram in the semi- final.
Ram, 161st in the world, beat top seed John Isner in the opening round and scraped past France’s Adrian Mannarino overnight.
A win to 26- year- old Smith would put him into his first ATP event final and caps a good month for him after he earned a spot in a first grand slam main draw through qualifying at Wimbledon. WORLD No. 1 and sixtime Wimbledon champion Serena Williams pulled out of the Swedish Open with an elbow injury yesterday.
The 33- year- old was set to play Klara Koukalova in the second round having defeated Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium 6- 2, 6- 1 in her opener at the claycourt event she won in 2013.
Williams is scheduled to play in Stanford, Toronto and Cincinnati before the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Williams will now set her sights on recovering for the US hardcourt season.
Elsewhere in Bastad there were wins for third seed Barbora Strycova who beat Evgeniya Rodina, 6- 4, 6- 1.
Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson saw off sixth- seeded Katerina Siniakova, 7- 5, 7- 6 ( 8- 6), and Yulia Putintseva defeated French qualifier Alize Lim, 6- 0, 1- 6, 6- 2.
AUSTRALIA’S Davis Cup title hopes are on the verge of collapse, with Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios losing their opening singles matches on a day of high drama.
Kokkinakis lost 6- 4, 6- 3, 6- 3 to Mikhail Kukushkin in just over two hours yesterday, before Kyrgios fell 7- 6 ( 7- 5), 6- 7 ( 7- 2), 7- 6 ( 7- 5), 6- 4 to world No. 115 Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
At 2- 0 down, Australia must win today’s doubles encounter just to keep the tie alive.
The disappointing oncourt results capped a forgettable day for Australian tennis after Bernard Tomic was arrested in America overnight.
Tomic was taken into custody after failing to follow police orders to leave his $ A7000- a- night penthouse at the W Hotel following a night of loud partying.
“Obviously that’s the first thing that came up on my Facebook when I had a scroll. I saw about eight mug shots of him,” Kokkinakis said after his straight- sets defeat.
“We’re trying to block out. It didn’t seem too bad.
“We’re just trying to do our own thing. We’ve got the tie, which I tried to focus on.
“Obviously you don’t
it want to have that sort of issue happen very often. It’s not great for anyone.
“But I still feel confident us boys can get it done.”
Tomic should have been with the Davis Cup team in Darwin.
But he was overlooked for selection following his outburst against Tennis Australia at Wimbledon.
With Tomic unavailable, Kokkinakis was handed responsibility for opening the tie against Kazakhstan’s topranked player.
But with his first serve abandoning him, the 19year- old struggled.
“I wasn’t able to find my game. And when I found it in the second set, I got broken straight back, which killed me,” Kokkinakis said.
“I didn’t find my rhythm today. I’m taking it pretty hard at the moment. I’m pretty disappointed.”
PRESSURE: Nick Kyrgios of Australia shows his feelings on court yesterday.